The Flying Bulls
There’s a lot of money to be made flogging unhealthy energy drinks to people with unbalanced diets. And with all that cash, you can afford to do all kinds of expensive things, like run a Formula 1 team, sponsor athletes, and create your own sporting events.
In the 1980s, Red Bull linked up with commercial pilot and vintage aircraft nut Sigfried Angerer to start collecting, restoring and flying historic aircraft. Which is something else that requires a ton of money.
The surface of Mars really greened up after the unseasonable rain
Now based at Salzburg Airport in Austria, ‘The Flying Bulls’ is a unique collection of aircraft, and a goodly number of racing cars, that are displayed to the public at its museum known as ‘Hangar 7′. What’s more, it’s free to enter. It’s a bit like visiting an RSL or Leagues Club in Australia, where you can have a great meal and drinks at low prices, all subsidised by the oldies feeding their pensions into the poker machines. Despite my entry to The Flying Bulls’ Hangar 7 being offset by caffeine addicted diabetics, I went along for a look anyway.
Hangar 7 is a striking glass structure that contains the museum, several restaurants and cafes, an art exhibition space, and a gift shop. Standing opposite is Hangar 8, where aircraft are restored, the airworthy collection is maintained, and those machines that are not on display are stored. Hangar 8 is not open to the public, but rather planes and helicopters are rotated through the museum, so on any one day you’re never sure what you are going to see. On the day of my visit, I had my fingers crossed for a few rare aircraft in the Flying Bulls’ collection, including one type I had never seen before.
When you walk into Hangar 7, you feel like you have entered the world’s biggest, and most expensive, man cave.
The largest aircraft in the Flying Bulls’ fleet, a gleaming Douglas DC-6B, dominates the exhibition space. Built in 1958, it’s a fantastic reminder of a bygone era of air travel.
Unfortunately there wasn’t a great deal of information provided about many of the Formula 1 cars parked up on the display floor. I’m sure F1 fans would recognise them all, but I could have done with a few more details.
Amongst the cars and planes on display was one of two-time Dakar Rally winner Toby Price’s KTM motorcycles.
I’m never quite sure whether these show bikes are actually original or replicas, but regardless it was pretty cool to see.
It was also great to have a little Aussie connection all the way over on the other side of the world.
Along with the F1s and Indycars was this Toyota Camry NASCAR. Considering it has no battle damage, I assume it’s a show vehicle that never raced.
This Camry’s faster than your Mum’s
It turns out that on the day I visited Hangar 7, only one of the four aircraft I was particularly keen to see was out on the floor.
Although I have seen a couple of Corsairs before, the Flying Bulls’ 1945 Chance Vought F-4U was impressive to say the least.
Just like new
I really enjoyed my time at The Flying Bulls, and during the rest of my stay in Salzburg, I called the Museum each day to ask if the other aircraft I was hoping to see had made it out of hangar 8 and into the limelight. Unfortunately I was out of luck, but it gives me a good excuse to come back to Salzburg one day for another visit to Hangar 7.
Visit The Flying Bulls here
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